We often travel along in our Christian life without much thought. Thinking our faith is where it should be and that we are steadfast in our beliefs. It is easy to forget how easily this can all be ripped away from us if we are not careful.
Recently, I found myself in such a situation. I did an online search; looking for some inconsequential information that would offer me nothing more than to fill my curiosity. It didn't take long for me to find what I was looking for, but as so often happens, I was led into another area of information I had not anticipated finding. This site was a blog, that contained lots of feedback. Unfortunately, I had stumbled… or rather willingly jumped into, a den of vipers.
The people who had written within this web page were what I would call ex-Christians. Now they surely didn't look at themselves that way, but that is what they truly are. They were people who used to come to church and/or switched churches. Why then do I call them ex-Christians? Because, this site was filled with hate! People who had nothing better to do than sit and spit venom at others. These sidewinders spent all their time slandering individuals and speaking to the inevitable fall of others. Something a true Christian does not do. It made me both mad and sad and it was only a minute or two before I shook my head and left the website. It reminded me of Isaiah 57:20-21 Isaiah 57:20-21  But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
 There is no peace, said my God, to the wicked.
American King James Version×where it says, "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." (KJV throughout)
Unfortunately, the damage was done. I had allowed myself to delve where I should not have been. My first mistake? Seeking information that was nothing more than gossip. My second was in allowing other people's hate and sin to settle in my mind. When I did so, I obviously opened myself up to Satan. I began to ask myself the all too familiar question, "What if there is no God?" and "What if everything I've ever believed is for nothing?"
It was a passing thought that Satan often offers up to God's people and normally it would have been brushed off and forgotten within seconds, but this time it was different. I can't say for sure, but I believe this scripture applied to how I felt at that moment, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”. For just that moment, I felt God’s spirit was not quite right in my heart. ( Ephesians 4:30-31 Ephesians 4:30-31  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed to the day of redemption.
 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
American King James Version×) I had heard of such things happening to others, but I had never experienced it and frankly I never ever want it to happen again!
I was devastated and couldn't shake my feelings of loss. I later thought about David's words in Psalms 51:10-12 Psalms 51:10-12  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
 Cast me not away from your presence; and take not your holy spirit from me.
 Restore to me the joy of your salvation; and uphold me with your free spirit.
American King James Version×, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."
I was sitting alone that evening and called my son to join me. I was hoping he could bring me out of my funk, but he had no words for me. I was at a loss, but kept explaining my predicament to him. Through that process, I found myself defending my side against the evil that had brought me to this state. The more I protested and fought for God; the more I proclaimed His Word to back up my standpoint and tried to teach my son through my error not to do as I had, the stronger I became. I felt refreshed and God's spirit felt fully restored within me. Through the power of the Holy Spirit I had fought my way back mentally and won!
I also realized that I was not capable of taking on a fight of the heart and mind like that alone. I am reminded of this in Ephesians 2:8-10 Ephesians 2:8-10  For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
American King James Version×, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”.
As I lay in bed that night I began to pray and it dawned on me just how important the armor of God is. Ephesians 6:11 Ephesians 6:11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
American King James Version×took on a whole new meaning to me. It became so viable and so very important!
Satan dwells around every corner waiting for an opportunity to attack us. We always feel prepared, but all he needs is a moment of doubt and he will pounce. I needed to keep James 3:17 James 3:17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
American King James Version×in mind. "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."
Did I ever truly stop believing? No, but that short lapse of faith made me a target and sometimes God allows this, so that we may be tested. Did I fail the test? I don't think so, if anything I was strengthened overall by the experience. Would I allow it to happen again? Hopefully not, but there is never a guarantee and I must always be on guard, taking nothing for granted.
My biggest mistake was wandering into an area filled with evil and not turning around straight away to get out of there. Our curiosity can often cause us to wander where we should not be. We are told to not enter the path of the wicked in Proverbs 4:14 Proverbs 4:14Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
American King James Version×and similarly in verses 25-27, "Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil."
If I had worn the full armor of God that day I would have never gone on that initial web search in the first place and would not have opened the way for wicked to enter in. That is why we must always wear the full armor of God. Not just the helmet or breast plate, but every piece of it. We must leave no area of vulnerability. That means keeping our shield up against every possible evil and strengthening our faith daily… hourly if necessary.
For more information on the armor of God and Satan's ways request the free Bible study aid, Is There Really a Devil?